Sonora one win away from league title after win, Lady Raiders throttle Buena Park
by Jeremiah Girard
La Habra Journal
The Sonora boys’ basketball team continued their undefeated league season with a 77-64 win over Buena Park, Friday at home.
It was senior night for Sonora so they started all seniors, but Buena Park jumped out to an early 7-2 lead and head coach Mike Murphy had seen enough. Even though it was Senior Night, it was the work of three juniors that helped lead Sonora to the win.
Forward Steven Murphy put up 23 points and 8 rebounds and Buena Park had no answer for him inside.
“My teammates found me [and] got me the ball in good spots,” Steven Murphy said. “I felt really good tonight, and the whole team played really well.”
Josh Rodriguez had 22 points including three 3-pointers. He also added three steals and five assists.
Ben Rico had 20 points including a 7-for-7 night from the free-throw line. He added five rebounds, three steals and two assists.
Outside of the three juniors, only two other Raiders scored a combined 13 points. Adam Marlow had 10 of them, and fellow senior Nathan Mendrin scored three points.
“I knew it was senior night so I wanted us to go out and put on a show,” Marlow said. “I am glad that we came out with the win too and we are still undefeated in league.”
Buena Park (8-17, 0-8) was led by 20 points from Deven Boston. Junn Rodriguez added 16 points in the loss.
The Raiders (22-3, 8-0) will take on La Habra, Wednesday at La Habra. With two games to go, the Raiders have a two-game lead in the Freeway League. One more win would clinch the league championship.
“We have put ourselves in a good position,” Steven Murphy said. “We are taking it one game at a time and want to come out and play hard on both sides of the ball against La Habra.”
Even though Sonora can clinch with one win, they want to win both of them.
“We want to go 10-0 in league,” Marlow said. “We still have to play La Habra and Sunny Hills but it would be cool to win both of those. It hasn’t been done by Sonora in a long time and would really show how good this team is.”
The Sonora girls’ basketball team sent their seniors off with a much-needed win against Buena Park, 54-15, Friday, at home.
“We only have two seniors but it was important for me to give them their time,” said Melissa Barajas, Sonora head coach. “Lauren [Nakahara] is one of our starters and plays a lot but we got to get Leah Cole some playing time and it was great to see her make a basket.”
The Lady Raiders dominated from the opening whistle. They managed to jump out to a 21-1 in the first quarter.
Marissa Dunn scored seven points in the first quarter alone. She was 4-for-5 from the free-throw line and made a 3-pointer in the period.
“Our defense played really well tonight, but the offense was what I was most impressed with,” Barajas said. “We attacked their defense from the beginning and the girls really got the ball moving.”
Buena Park (4-15, 0-8) did not even make a field goal until there was under a minute left in the first half. At half time Sonora led 36-4. Angela Rodriguez had five points in the second quarter.
The second half was more of the same. Dunn added five points in the third quarter and brought her total to a game-high 16 points. Nakahara continued her hot shooting from the Fullerton game and knocked down two more 3-pointers. Sonora took a 52-8 lead into the final quarter.
Sonora (10-13, 3-5) had most of their starters out for the fourth quarter and only scored two points.
The Lady Raiders will take on La Habra at La Habra High Tuesday, at 6 p.m.
“We have two more tough games to go before the season ends,” Barajas said. “We want to come out and play hard on both of them and try to win them both.”